(Cooper Young Farmers Market, Memphis, Tennessee - model: Hilaire)
Sage's left hand trembled by her side as she stared at the painting. She heard whispers, many voices, asking why she gave up. Why did you give up? Why did you fall? She closed her eyes as the whispers continued to speak with her. Yes, she had given up. For years, she wanted to be a writer. Make her mark in the world of words because her stories needed to be born. Erupt from her mind like Athena. She went out and conquered, twice, only to fall when she began to question. What am I doing? This is no way to live. The more she gave up, the more the whispers invaded her mind. Although Sage had a Muse, one who consistently fed her mind and energy, she turned that being out. After a year of going deaf, Sage had nothing but a cubicle and fearful comfort. . . . of which brought her to the art museum, a place she used to call one of her alternative homes. Each painting held a mystery for her, giving out their tales to her in the form of minuscule flakes of paint, dried up snatches of conversations made before them, and the dried up ghosts of sweat from the artist as they toiled away to feed their relentless insanity. She came here to be free, perhaps. Sage opened her eyes and stared at the painting, how each colour made its way through the canvas and soon became another and another and another. She took a deep breath then exhaled. Suddenly, she looked down and noticed that her left hand had stopped trembling. She looked up at the painting again as the whispers dwindled down to one voice. One clear voice that whispered her name. She felt phantom arms embracing her from behind while the scent of mint carried to her nose. She took a step towards the painting. Cold hands now covered hers while soft lips touched her neck. He, for now she knew it was a he, told her that in order to return to her world, she must say yes. Will you say yes? he whispered, the lips slowly sliding down her neck. Sage reached out for the painting as he sighed. She whispered yes. His hands became solid as they turned her to face him. Green eyes eyes flecked with gold. Say yes, he said with now full lips as he leaned towards her for that one kiss. Say yes.